Bob’s Lobster, Unit 71, St Thomas Street, London SE1 3QX (020 7407 7099). Snacks and small plates £3.50-£11; massive plates £12-£22; seafood tower £forty; cakes £6; wines from £25
In the films that bring her name, the fictitious Bridget Jones lives a short, tear-stained, snot-smeared stumble from the real place of Bob’s Lobster, tucked into one of the areas underneath the newly renovated London Bridge station. It’s a tidy healthy because this would be exactly the sort of vicinity Bridget would want to visit to devour away the ache of a calamitous ruin-up. In unique, she ought to order the fries with mussel and bacon chowder, because they’ll make everything better. I say “with” the chowder because that’s how the menu describes it; “submerged in” is towards the mark.
Behold: a deep, soothing bowl of wine and cream-primarily based chowder, bobbing with Ford Cortina-orange mussels, into which has been dumped a whole serving of as a substitute exact chips. Pile some greater pert mussels on the pinnacle, in conjunction with a bacon crumb and finely diced green herbs and spring onions to make it appear to be all the important meals businesses have been covered, and there you’ve got it: solace in a bowl. It’s a pescatarian take on Lancashire’s traditional chips and gravy. The ones at the top are crisp; those beneath are a yielding soggy mess of cream and seafood and potato and profundity. Lean over and shovel it in, until your cheeks are slicked with soup and the terrible thoughts have gone away.
It’s an outrageous and joyous menu object – the phrase “dish” might be pushing it – which sums up the entire-frontal attack of the food right here. The cooking laughs in the face of the usual American dishes it names at the menu. The succotash isn’t quite a succotash; the shrimp and grits could make a local of the country of Georgia frown. None of those topics, because the maximum of it’s far superb. It’s referred to as Bob’s Lobster as it grew out of the initials of Bedales of Borough, the wine bar returned near the marketplace (which, because it occurs, occupies the website of what changed into the Greek restaurant within the authentic Bridget Jones film). It allows that the founder is referred to as Roberto Dann; there’s a bona fide Bob involved.
Dann became seeking to diversify from their wine and small plates imparting, so he imported an antique pink-and-white VW camper van and commenced flogging lobster rolls out of it at Borough Market. The polished camper van now sits within the excessive-ceilinged space they’ve taken over inside the crimson-brick undercarriage of London Bridge station. It’s simply opposite the Vinegar Yard street grocery store that opened multiple months in the past. What became, till very these days, an abandoned and scuffed Bermondsey drag is now, on a heat Thursday night, full of bustle and shout and the merry clink of glass on glass.
Here at Bob’s, there’s a bar knocking out foaming pisco sours. They have an oyster satisfied hour late each Monday to Friday afternoon with bivalves at a quid every. For £8 they will make you a fish finger sandwich, or fried fowl with anchovy salsa verde, whilst £40 gets you a “seafood tower” of oysters and prawns, salmon tartare, scallops and tuna tostada. For a further £20, they’ll chuck the lobster tail on, too.
We begin with tuna tacos, which arrive tucked into a deep groove chiseled down an elegant plank of wooden, so it looks as if a taco luge. It’s a tremendous quantity of engineering to maintain this stylish wallet of sashimi-grade tuna, wasabi-boosted guacamole, chipotle-flavored cream, and deep-fried wonton shells fully contained. There are 4 of them for £nine. Each one is three or four pleasant mouthfuls of best-uncooked fish, acidity, crunch, and spice. Unlike chowder-splashed fries, consuming those looks like an act of virtue.
As does the succotash, which has to possibly come interior inverted commas. It keeps to the essentials, being a mixture of sweetcorn and podded huge beans. The addition of courgettes, clean mint and, in particular, crumbled feta, leads it off towards the southern Mediterranean instead of the southern US. More familiar is the lobster and crayfish roll in a tender, sweet and toasted brioche bun: a bit of claw meat, quite a few crayfish (to hold the price under £20), a mattress of crunchy coleslaw and all is proper with the arena.